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Nasty knockoffs: Dangerous fake products enter U.S. at record pace

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A man hawks untaxed cigarettes for $5 on West 125th Street in New York City. An increasing number of black market smokes are counterfeits, which are especially unhealthy. (Photo by L. Lancaster/CityLimits)


Counterfeit automotive parts are on the U.S. market in record numbers. On the left is a genuine Bendix MV-3 dash valve, used for applying and releasing the parking brakes on commercial trucks. On the right is a counterfeit version, like the one that failed a driver from Rhett Butler Trucking in Sanford, N.C., prematurely after only a few days of use. (Photo courtesy of Bendix LLC)


Poor-quality counterfeit electronic components like these fake power cords can cause electric shock or fire. (Photo courtesy of USCC)


A record number of fake medical supplies are on the U.S. market. On the left are counterfeit diabetic testing strips; the ones on the right are real. (Photo courtesy of USCC)

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Fake cigarettes, brake parts and condoms are only some of an increasing number of dangerous counterfeit goods now on the U.S. market. The days of seemingly harmless knockoffs like Rolex watches, Louis Vuitton purses and Nike sneakers are giving way to a new generation of fake goods that are being smuggled into the U.S. at a record pace.